Bonsai is a traditional form of sculpture using a living medium--a plant or tree specimen-- to create a form representing a tree in nature, but miniature in scale. This reduction in scale causes an encounter between viewer and artwork that is intimate, provoking a sense of wonder and awe.
The artist becomes invisible as the tree grows and matures, allowing the viewer to contemplate what might be described as an "inner landscape"-- a window to the connection between ourselves and the natural world of which we are a part.
Thus bonsai becomes an icon to this invisible connection between the natural world and the viewer. Techniques from traditional horticulture are the methods by which this alchemy is achieved.